People and Portraiture
6th October 2016
In Dragana Jurisic's workshop children were introduced to the basics in photographic seeing and visual storytelling through portraiture. Dragana presented to the children images of work by famous photographers throughout history - Vivienne Meyer, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon - and asked the children what they thought was being communicated when they looked at the images of these works. They discussed the phenomena of a ‘selfie’ and the difference between a selfie and a self-portrait. Dragana presented to the children the idea that a selfie is about how we look, as opposed to how we feel, and asked if the selfie could be re-formatted in order to become about how we feel. Dragana also discussed with them the idea of truthfulness in photography and showed examples of how the personality of photographers influence how their subjects are represented. After her presentation and discussion, they broke into two groups. One group stayed in the classroom and worked in pairs to draw each other's face. The other worked in the garden to mimic the body language of some of the examples of portraits that they had seen in the presentation, considering what this body language and facial expression conveyed. The children readily grasped the concept of constructing and making a photograph and they eagerly worked in teams to embrace the roles of both artist and photographic subject.